When we think of advertising we often conjure up images of a slick television commercial or a glossy magazine ad, however a focus on keeping your customers happy could be the best money you will ever spend.

Recently I was reading the findings of a survey 'Consumers Trust Real Friends and Virtual Strangers the Most' completed by research giant Nielson. They concluded that consumers trust the recommendations of friends or opinions posted online before traditional forms of advertising.

This trend will only increase as social networking online grows more a part of our lives (I must admit the other day I found myself checking Twitter to see what others were saying about a product I was interested in).

So what can we do about it? Fuel the conversation by giving them something to talk about! Some ideas could include:
  • Concentrate on meeting your customers’ needs – It is important as a business to understand what your customers expect from your product or service. One way to stay a head of the competition is to look for opportunities to surpass these expectations.
  • Send a personal thank you card - We recently covered in a previous post the power of a thank you card, as they can help to build long-lasting customer relationships beyond just a transaction.
  • Acknowledge and reward your referrers – Make a point of acknowledging any referrers, especially online. A start would be running an online search on any mentions of your products or services, and responding with a comment if there is the opportunity. You could consider rewarding referrers with an exclusive discount or gift.

Take 5 minutes today to think about how you could ‘fuel the conversation’ – don’t forget to pass on any ideas or experiences of your own in a comment below.